By Lawrence Delevingne BOSTON (Reuters) - Wall Street's New Year optimism overpowered concerns about the coronavirus and inflation on Monday, with U.S. and European equity markets advancing in parallel with rising oil prices and U.S. Treasury yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 246.76 points, or 0.68%, to 36,585.06; the S&P 500 gained 30.38 points, or 0.64%, to 4,796.56; and the Nasdaq Composite added 187.83 points, or 1.2%, to 15,832.80. Leading the way were Apple Inc, which on Monday became the first company with a $3 trillion stock market value, and Tesla Inc, whose shares were up...
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CNN obtained emails revealing former President Donald Trump was pushing the appointment of his lawyer Cleta Mitchell to the federal election advisory board.
According to the emails, conservatives were working well before the Nov. 2020 election to get his hand-picked person on the Election Assistance Commission, which is supposed to be an independent agency that gives election guidelines for states.
Mitchell was one of those who participated in Trump's infamous phone call where he demanded that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA) "find" 11,780 votes so that he could win the Georgia election.
The story of how she was appointed to that board "underscores how a core faction of Republicans has focused on pushing unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud even before Trump convinced much of the Republican Party to buy into his election lies that the 2020 election had been stolen," CNN wrote.
Raffensperger, along with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, is facing well-funded allies of Trump's in a GOP primary that will reveal the extent to which the former president can control the voters after his "big lie" election conspiracy. Polls still indicate that the overwhelming majority (70 percent) of Republican voters believe that the 2020 election was won by Trump.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll revealed that 45 percent of GOP primary voters indicated they would prefer to vote for a candidate that had Trump's endorsement. It might explain why Trump's hand-picked candidate, disgraced Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) is failing with just 27 percent of the vote as of April.
"According to the House committee investigating the insurrection and a Washington Post report disclosing White House records, Trump also spoke with Mitchell on the evening of Jan. 6, 2021," said CNN.
Mitchell left her law firm after the Trump Georgia call that was recorded and sent to the media. Now, however, she gets to influence election policy inside the government after her boss was voted out of office. She was appointed after an appointment to a government group developing civil rights policy and civil rights enforcement of the law.
"The emails obtained by CNN show how conservatives on the civil rights commission worked for months to gain a Republican appointment to the election advisory board," said CNN. "After two Trump appointments in 2020 gave the civil rights commission a 4-4 partisan split, the conservatives threatened to stop the commission’s work in a bid for concessions – including a Republican election board appointment – in exchange for approving the civil rights commission’s new Democratic chair."
“I made it plain to her we could stop the business of the commission if we were not treated fairly, and fairness is all we want,” wrote Trump-appointed civil rights commissioner J. Christian Adams. He was the one who pushed the addition of Mitchell.
Adams is no stranger to claims of voter fraud when there aren't any. In fact, he was part of Trump's "election integrity commission" that aimed to find 3 million undocumented "Mexicans" who voted illegally. They never did and Trump ended the commission. A commissioner later revealed that they found no evidence of voter fraud.
When CNN asked for comment, Adams claimed the conservative appointment could work because the rules required the vote to be bipartisan "and that needed to be fixed."
“We had the votes to get it done, and we got it done,” he said. “Cleta Mitchell has been a breath of fresh air on the advisory board already. Too often insiders don’t hear outside perspectives so I am thrilled that she is bringing diverse viewpoints that the advisory board might have not heard before.”
The chief of the commission admitted she wasn't pleased with the appointment.
Mitchell is now using language around election "confidence" to justify election restrictions. There are people who feel bad, after buying into the 2020 "big lie." Thus the law should cater to the feelings of the minority and restrict the votes of the majority of voters.
“We need to make this as transparent as possible to restore confidence in the voting systems,” she said. “I think this is probably one of the biggest challenges that we face in elections today.”
In Aug. 2020, Adams pushed voter fraud claims before the election had even been conducted. He told former Trump chief of staff Mark MEadows on Nov. 9, 2020, that Mitchell offered to start a non-profit group “to deal with raising money and paying for the cyber portion" of the election fraud claims. "She offered to do it if necessary.”
Adams then tried to have Democratic colleague Michael Yaki removed from the commission. At the time, Yaki was pushing a plan to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service meet mail-in-ballot deadlines because it might be "incapable" of doing so, the emails show. The rest of the commission blocked him from doing anything about it.
“My question is how does he get UNDONE from the EAC oversight commission? How does that get revoked and replaced?” Adams asked in another email to Meadows.
"The Republicans on the Civil Rights Commission discovered in the fall of 2020 that appointments to the election advisory board were supposed to be bipartisan, but both were Democrats. They also found that the commissioners had never voted on the current appointments, the emails show," said CNN.
So, Republicans sent a letter from the GOP Civil Rights commission asking the Election Assistance Commission to question the legitimacy of the Democratic appointees.
“There are significant doubts that this ‘appointment’ was actually an appointment that followed our Commission’s regular procedures,” they wrote in the letter.
It was only after Joe Biden took over that the Civil Rights commissioners began renegotiating the rules for the next appointment to the election commission.
“If we were to appoint Commissioner Adams to the EAC there would be some pretty significant public blow back,” wrote a communications aide.
By July 2021 the GOP chairs put Mitchell and Adams in as their two candidates. The Democrats chose Mitchell over Adams. Then they raised ethical concerns about Mitchell. She serves on Adams' election integrity organization. The general counsel of the commission declared there was no conflict and there shouldn't be any kind of outside investigation.
Read the full report at CNN.
George Conway: Ginni Thomas 'was always a little out there' — but now the GOP has come along with her
Speaking to CNN's Jim Acosta on Sunday, lawyer George Conway lambasted the corruption in the Supreme Court as "out there" Ginni Thomas dictates orders to Republicans in states around the country.
"I have to ask you about this," Acosta began. "You mentioned the judiciary. There's the judiciary in this country, the Washington Post obtained emails that show Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressing Arizona lawmakers to overturn [Joe] Biden's win in the 2020 election. She wrote in part, 'Please reflect on the awesome authority granted you and ensure a clean slate of electors is chosen for our state. I wish to request a meeting from you to learn more about what you are doing to ensure our vote count is audited and our certification is clean.' I love the use of the word clean there. It's anything but."
Conway called it disturbing for someone in her position to be sending out such emails.
"In this particular circumstance, it's probably not as bad as the text messages to Mark Meadows because these were form emails of a sort on a website designed to set up form emails. The notion you can have somebody that close to somebody important in public life advocating overthrowing an election is just scary. And it shows you where the Republican Party has come to. I mean, Ginni was always a little bit out there, and I think the rest of the party has gone, you know, basically over to her side and that's a disturbing thing and that's why we see what's happening with CPAC in Hungary and these election deniers in the House, in the various statehouses throughout the country, and why we have an ongoing battle for basically our democracy."
Conway went on to blast Republicans for ignoring Donald Trump who just demanded a "Civil War" on his Truth Social account.
See the discussion below:
George Conway on 'out there' Genni Thomas youtu.be
As the Republican Primary in Georgia approaches, it's clear that former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) doesn't appear to be doing well. His poll numbers are in the gutter, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed. The former senator lost after the 2020 election led to a Trump-supporter boycott of the Jan. 2021 runoff. He along with his GOP colleague Kelly Loeffler lost their jobs.
Former President Donald Trump has gotten involved as Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) tries to get reelected in November. As Vanity Fair explained, the revenge plan isn't working out the way he thought. After Kemp refused to hand the 2020 election to Trump, the stage was set for a rematch between what Trump viewed as a traitor and a hand-picked Trump ally.
Perdue announced he was running in the name of Trumpism, but he has failed to gain traction after being kicked out of office. Trump's choice may have been a loyalist, but he failed to factor in other issues voters appear to have with Perdue. The former senator even quietly tried to get non-Trump voters to come in and rescue him. Now, Perdue has cut campaign ads and Trump is reportedly furious. He's already decided that he wants nothing to do with Perdue and is refusing to go to Georgia to help.
When phoning into a Perdue rally, Trump told the crowd that if they didn't vote for Perdue it will be a disaster for the GOP with Kemp at the top of the ticket. There's a reason for that, and it is entirely Donald Trump's fault. Trump has spent two long years trying to bring down Kemp. So, if Kemp is the candidate chosen, Trump supporters aren't likely to come out for Kemp.
Meanwhile, Trump's chosen candidate Herschel Walker has proven to be just as big of a disaster. Georgia Republicans admit they expect he'll lose. Walker has a past that doesn't appear to have been vetted before he got the support of the party. Then he was caught lying about it. It's unknown how the endorsement from the GOP happened. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may have trusted Trump's recommendation or it could have been Senate campaign committee leader Rick Scott (R-FL). With one bad news story after another, Walker's poll numbers grow worse as the November election nears.
It's unclear if Trump will drop Walker the way that he did with Perdue, but McConnell and Scott have already chosen their candidate.
When Trump left the White House early on Jan. 20, 2021, the first thing he did was speak to GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, telling her that he was done with the Republican Party. In the book "Betrayal," written by ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, Trump threatened to start his own political party to rival the GOP.
"Donald Trump was in no mood for small talk or nostalgic goodbyes," Karl wrote. "He got right to the point. He told her he was leaving the Republican Party and would be creating his own political party. The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., was also on the phone. The younger Trump had been relentlessly denigrating the RNC for being insufficiently loyal to Trump. In fact, at the January 6 rally before the Capitol Riot, the younger Trump all but declared that the old Republican Party didn't exist anymore."
"You cannot do that," McDaniel told Trump. "If you do, we will lose forever."
"Exactly. You lose forever without me," Trump responded. "I don't care."
McDaniel threatened to stop paying the legal bills of the president as he was going into court losses. They would also destroy his carefully curated email list of millions of Trump supporters tracked all over the country.
"It's a list Trump had used to generate money by renting it to candidates at a steep cost," Karl writes. "The list generated so much money that party officials estimated that it was worth about $100 million."
Trump backed down on his threat, agreeing to stay in the GOP, but what has happened in wake of the fight is that he has managed to destroy the GOP from the inside out, particularly in Georgia where his 2020 election war made the GOP governor unpopular and his hand-picked candidates have failed to garner support.